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State misleads public with latest school standards
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

In the latest attempt by the State Board of Education, supported by the California Legislature and Ed Voice, the identification of the “1000 Persistently Lowest Performing Schools” has presented the public with more confusion and deception concerning the success and failures of schools in meeting their educational goals.

The title (and the intention of the law) was to list the worst of the worst in academic performance over several years, but this is not the case. Instead, they came up with a convoluted formula so as not to include more than 10% in any particular local educational agency (LEA). This has resulted in capturing schools that are not only performing at expectations but some are exceeding in goal performance.

What this does in reality is to falsely lead parents into believing their particular school is not performing well, allowing them to apply elsewhere to a school with a higher API score. This is beyond incompetence; it is outright misleading and deceiving the public about the status of our schools.

To put this in perspective, you have a son or daughter in high school with a 3.5 GPA or higher. You receive a notice from the school that he or she is a consistent low performer. The logical reaction would be to call the school and find out what is going on as this makes no sense at all. The same can be said of this “list”, it makes no sense at all and just exacerbates angst about some schools that are doing a good to excellent job and creates divisiveness between community and school where none is needed.

Accountability is a much used term today but where is it for our lawmakers? The legislature has a 16% approval rating and this is an example of why that exists, (though not the only reason.)

You will hear a lame excuse by legislators that it is the law and our hands are tied. Well if it is a bad law and deceives the public why not change it immediately. That is why they are elected to serve the people.

My hope is that the public will dismiss this list because it has no credibility and demand that our law makers start performing to a higher level of performance.

William Draa
14 years as
 Banta Elementary School District
July 16, 2010